|Dr Harry Hagopian|
"Saying it has been an eventful twelve months in the Middle East North Africa region is an understatement of monumental proportions. In a seasonal Middle East Analysis, Dr Harry Hagopian focuses on five myths that have sprung from the region over the last year.
· There has been one uniform uprising by the Arab masses across the whole region in order to rid themselves of oppression and totalitarian regimes to introduce dignity and citizenship rights
· The uprisings have been 'owned' by the younger "facebook" generation
· The popular uprisings dispel the suggestion that Palestine is the hub of the Middle East
· The West can shape the destiny of the Arab world - the MENA region
· Radical Islam will rule across the region
We conclude by offering a prayer for the Christian communities of the Middle East as we turn our eyes to Bethlehem and the birth of Christ:
"It is not our place to tell others how to live their lives. It's our place to stand in solidarity with the Christians of the MENA region, be prayerful with them, speak out alongside them whenever they're concerned, share their joys and celebrations. What better way to share their joy and celebration than now that we're coming to the Christmas season - the Feast of the Nativity.
"In a sense the whole biblical narrative unfolded in countries like Syria, Jordan, Egypt, Iraq, Israel and Palestine. Our thoughts should be with them, our prayers should be with them, we should be watchful as to what happens in the future in a region that is fragile and uncertain."
Dr Hagopian is an international lawyer and consultant to the Catholic Bishops' Conference of England and Wales on the Middle East. He's also a former Assistant General Secretary of the Middle East Council of Churches.
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